The British Journal of Ophthalmology adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics, scientific misconduct, consent and peer review criteria. To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.
Articles are published under an exclusive licence (or non-exclusive licence for UK Crown and US Federal Government employees) and authors retain copyright. Articles can also be published under a Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content; please refer to the The British Journal of Ophthalmology Copyright Author Licence Statement. When publishing in British Journal of Ophthalmology, authors choose between three licence types – exclusive licence granted to BMJ, CC-BY-NC and CC-BY (Creative Commons open access licences require payment of an article processing charge).
As an author you may wish to post your article in an institutional or subject repository, or on a scientific social sharing network. You may also link your published article to your preprint (if applicable). What you can do with your article, without seeking permission, depends on the licence you have chosen and the version of your article. Please refer to the BMJ author self archiving and permissions policies page for more information.
Preprints foster openness, accessibility and collaboration by allowing authors to make their findings immediately available to the research community and receive feedback on an article before it is submitted to a journal for formal publication. BMJ fully supports and encourages the archiving of preprints in any recognised, not-for-profit server such as medRxiv. BMJ does not consider the posting of an article in a dedicated preprint repository to be prior publication.
Preprints are reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed; Preprints should therefore not be used to guide clinical practice, health-related behaviour or health policy. For more information, please refer to our Preprint policy page.
BMJ is committed to ensuring that good quality research is published. Our article transfer service helps authors find the best journal for their research while providing an easy and smooth publication process. As part of this service, once authors agree to transfer their manuscript all versions, supplementary files and peer reviewer comments are automatically transferred, without the need to resubmit or reformat. Authors who submit to the British Journal of Ophthalmology and whose work is rejected on the grounds of priority will be offered the option of transferring to BMJ Open Ophthalmology.
BMJ Open Ophthalmology is the open access companion journal to the British Journal of Ophthalmology. It is indexed by Web of Science Core Collection: Emerging Sources Citation Index; PubMed Central; DOAJ; Google Scholar; Scopus; MEDLINE, and covers all aspects of ophthalmology and vision science. The journal publishes original articles considered by peer reviewers to be coherent and technically sound, ensuring that the latest research is disseminated rapidly to a global audience. Find out more about BMJ Open Ophthalmology. Please note that the article transfer service does not guarantee acceptance but you should receive a quicker initial decision on your manuscript. Contact the Article Transfer Service Manager for more information or assistance.
During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access for 3,000 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). Publishing open access has multiple benefits including wider reach, faster impact and increased citation and usage. Authors can also choose to publish their article in colour for the print edition - instead of the default option of black and white - for 400 GBP. There are no submission, page or online-only colour figure charges.
If authors choose to publish their article open access, an APC waiver may be available. Before applying for an APC waiver please consider: (1) Does your institution have an open access agreement with BMJ? If it does, then this may cover all or part of the APC for your article. Check BMJ’s open access agreements page to find out whether your institution is a member and what discounts you may be entitled to. (2) Have you received funding from a funder with an open access mandate or policy that covers paying APCs? If so, BMJ expects that the APC will be paid in full. If neither (1) nor (2) above apply then consider: (3) Are all the authors of your article based in low-income countries*? If so, you are eligible to apply for a full or partial waiver from BMJ.
Visit our author hub to learn more about our waivers policy and how to request one. Please note that regardless of the funding situation, authors can still choose to publish with us at no cost, and articles will be made available to our subscribers. *This list is reviewed annually and is based upon HINARI Core Offer Groups A and B, and the World Bank Country and Lending Groups.
British Journal of Ophthalmology mandates ORCID iDs for the submitting author at the time of article submission; co-authors and reviewers are strongly encouraged to also connect their ScholarOne accounts to ORCID. We strongly believe that the increased use and integration of ORCID iDs will be beneficial for the whole research community.
Please find more information about ORCID and BMJ’s policy on our Author Hub.
British Journal of Ophthalmology adheres to BMJ's Tier 3 data policy. We strongly encourage that data generated by your research that supports your article be made available as soon as possible, wherever legally and ethically possible. All research articles must contain a Data Availability Statement. For more information and FAQs, please see BMJ's full Data Sharing Policy page.
A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in British Journal of Ophthalmology; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed. Find out more about responses and how to submit a response.
Please review the below article type specifications including the required article lengths, illustrations, table limits and reference counts. The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contributions and references. Manuscripts should be as succinct as possible. For further support when making your submission please refer to the resources available on the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on writing and formatting your research through to the peer review process and promoting your paper. You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.
A timely succinct commentary on any aspect of clinical or laboratory ophthalmology, usually in relation to the subject matter of a paper to be published in the same issue. All editorials are commissioned.
Word count: up to 1500 Tables/illustrations: up to 2 images/tables References: up to 25 references
Original research can be submitted under Clinical science or Laboratory science. Research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc) should be submitted as Systematic reviews. Research should include the following:
- Synopsis/Precis: a 35 word summary of the main findings or outcomes of the study for the 'At a Glance' article
- Structured abstract: (250 words, headings: "Background/Aims", "Methods", "Results", and "Conclusion")
- Materials and methods
Clinical science: up to 3000 words, up to 5 images/tables,35 references Laboratory Science: up to 3000 words, up to 5 images/, 35 references Please include the key messages of your article after your abstract using the following headings. This section should be no more than 3-5 sentences and should be distinct from the abstract; be succinct, specific and accurate.
- What is already known on this topic - summarise the state of scientific knowledge on this subject before you did your study and why this study needed to be done
- What this study adds - summarise what we now know as a result of this study that we did not know before
- How this study might affect research, practice or policy - summarise the implications of this study
This article type includes all research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc). Please include the research type in your title to make the nature of your study clear.
Please see Original research for more guidance on article requirements.
Reviews will address any aspect of clinical or laboratory ophthalmology. Most articles are commissioned but uninvited reviews are also welcome; prior discussion with the Editor is recommended. Research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc) are classified by the journal as Systematic reviews and must be submitted as such.
Unstructured abstract: up to 250 words Word count: up to 3000 words Tables/illustrations: up to 5 images and tables References: up to 100 references
Brief communications are suited for single observation mechanistic studies, observation studies that do not delineate a mechanism and observational clinical studies, such as biomarker studies, which do not have a validation cohort. Brief Communications are commissioned only.
Title: maximum of 20 words Unstructured abstract: up to 100 words Word count: up to 1,000 words Tables/illustrations: up to 3 images and tables References: up to 10 references
Commentaries provide an expert analysis of articles published by British Journal of Ophthalmology. Commentaries are commissioned only and readers seeking to respond to a published article should submit using the eLetters paper type.
The BMJ Publishing Group journals are willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:
- The journal editor, an editorial board member or a learned society may wish to organise a meeting, sponsorship may be sought and the proceedings published as a supplement.
- The journal editor, editorial board member or learned society may wish to commission a supplement on a particular theme or topic. Again, sponsorship may be sought.
- The BMJPG itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
- A sponsoring organisation, often a pharmaceutical company or a charitable foundation, that wishes to arrange a meeting, the proceedings of which will be published as a supplement.
For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines. When contacting us regarding a potential supplement, please include as much of the information below as possible.
- Journal in which you would like the supplement published
- Title of supplement and/or meeting on which it is based
- Date of meeting on which it is based
- Proposed table of contents with provisional article titles and proposed authors
- An indication of whether authors have agreed to participate
- Sponsor information including any relevant deadlines
- An indication of the expected length of each paper Guest Editor proposals if appropriate
Articles submitted to British Journal of Ophthalmology are subject to peer review. In most instances we aim for two external opinions (and often additional statistical assessment) for reasons of fairness and science. The journal is not prepared to compromise on this stance. The journal operates single anonymised peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; Manuscripts authored by a member of a journal’s editorial team are independently peer reviewed; an editor will have no input or influence on the peer review process or publication decision for their own article. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – the peer review process. BMJ requests that all reviewers adhere to a set of basic principles and standards during the peer-review process in research publication; these are based on the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Please refer to our peer review terms and conditions policy page.
BMJ is committed to transparency. Every article we publish includes a description of its provenance (commissioned or not commissioned) and whether it was internally or externally peer reviewed. During the submission process, authors must not suggest reviewers who are current or recent colleagues of themselves or their co-authors. For more information about suggesting reviewers please visit our Author Hub. Plagiarism is the appropriation of the language, ideas or thoughts of another without crediting their true source and representation of them as one’s own original work. BMJ is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. BMJ runs manuscripts through iThenticate during the peer review process. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.